Alex Williams August 1st, 2022

How To Measure Your Content Marketing ROI

How do you know if your content marketing efforts are working? How do you know if they’re making you money? And just what does your content marketing impact? If you’re struggling to answer these questions, then you might be due for a refresher on how content marketing ROI works.

Many marketers are unsure of how to calculate the ROI of their marketing, and many others don’t even measure the return on their marketing! This article will take a look at content marketing ROI, explain how you can calculate it, and then how you can leverage ROI in conjunction with other metrics and KPIs to understand whether or not your content marketing campaigns are working.

Content Marketing ROI Explained

Content marketing ROI, in a nutshell, is a way to measure how much money you make from your content based on how much you spent. Frequently, marketers and business managers will measure this return as a percentage.

When you have a higher content marketing return on investment, it means that you are more efficient at generating sales with your content. Remember, ROI essentially is a way to compare your sales with the cost of making your content and marketing. Understanding this is essential to keeping your sales pipeline functioning.

How Can Your Business Calculate Content Marketing ROI?

Calculating ROI is a snap with a simple formula. All you have to do is subtract the amount you invest in a project (INVESTMENT) from the total income (TOTAL INCOME) from the project and then divide that result by the amount invested (INVESTMENT). Finally, to see your ROI as a percentage, you multiply that amount by 100. This formula can be written as:

[(TOTAL INCOME - INVESTMENT) / INVESTMENT] x 100

For example, imagine that you spend $750 to film and edit a social media video. In the end, the video generates $1,500 in sales. Let’s plug this in:

[($1,500 - $750) / $750] x 100 = 100%

As you can see, in this case, the project generated a 100% return!

Why is Measuring Content Marketing ROI So Important?

Measuring content marketing ROI is huge for businesses. In our previous example, we saw a 100% return, but imagine how returns can potentially be much larger! Today, the power of social media means that content marketing ROI often exceeds 100% and can potentially be far higher. Today, content impressions cost very little compared to the returns they can generate. In short, content marketing can give you returns unlike any other. This means more cash flow at the end of the day.

In addition, content marketing can help you grow your audience. This means more likes, more shares, and more retweets. All of these types of interactions will help you generate insights into your market and audience. In the end, content marketing ROI is another insight that goes beyond just looking at page views and impressions.

Unite Content Marketing ROI and Traditional Metrics

Remember, it’s not one or the other. Keep track of both your primary metrics and content marketing ROI to understand whether or not content marketing is working. Traditional metrics are great at indicating whether or not marketing is working. For example, tracking cart abandonment over time can give you insights into whether or not you’re reducing cart abandonment, but it does not tell you how much money you’re bringing in as a result.

Content marketing ROI gives you that insight. When your numbers are in the red, you’ll know you need to shift your tactics.

Metrics To Leverage Your Content Marketing ROI

When building your marketing plan and leveraging content marketing ROI, it’s important to also track these key metrics:

  • Track Your Leads: Qualified leads are visitors or impressions that have shown interest in making a purchase during their customer journey.
  • Measure Web Traffic: Web traffic through SEO and content marketing can help bolster your digital footprint. Web traffic helps ensure customers are seeing your products and services. Consider how fast your landing page is too.
  • Keep an eye on engagement: Content marketing ROI is all about social media engagement. Social media is where most of your content should end up. Think of your social media as the start of your funnel. Today, platforms like Facebook and Instagram even make it easier to bring your products straight to the eyes of consumers.

When it comes to social media, keep an eye on the following engagements:

  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Follower Growth
  • Views (for Instagram Reels, TikToks, and other videos)

Analyze Content Marketing ROI

In addition to all your other metrics, remember to track your content marketing ROI and analyze it. Calculating your ROI and analyzing it are actually two distinct processes, but they’re both a part of measuring whether or not your content marketing ROI is working.  Think of analyzing as an in-depth look at your calculations to understand how well your content is working. Just how do you go about analyzing your content marketing ROI?

Set Goals

Setting goals is important because goals will tell you whether or not your campaigns had any impact and were a success. Think about your primary metrics: conversions, traffic, etc. Establishing a straightforward objective related to these metrics can make it easy to measure whether or not you’re successful. It can also help you understand the returns from your investments in campaigns and projects. When picking goals, remember the following:

  1. Choose worthwhile goals and be realistic. Picking unachievable goals or goals that are too distant can make things discouraging. For example, if you wanted to “boost Instagram video post impressions 10%” but have typically run Facebook campaigns, then maybe it would be better to set a goal of learning about making the perfect promotion video for Instagram first.
  2. Be specific about your goals. Goals that are too amorphous or vague are also prone to breaking down. This means that a goal such as “generate more diverse content” sounds great on paper, but it gives no actionable guideline for you or your team. A better goal might be to list out some content areas that are lacking and then shoot to tackle those.
  3. Commit to your goals. When you commit, this means giving yourself a timeline for completion and then sticking to it. This goes hand-in-hand with being specific and picking goals that are achievable. Committing means investing resources and time into achieving those goals.

Unite Goals and Metrics

Measuring your content marketing ROI isn’t just about how much money you make, but it also means understanding how other metrics are impacted. When you unite your goals with important metrics, you get more insight than if you just look at each individually. Your goals should incorporate the most important KPI metrics when possible. This means looking at engagement, bounce rate, cart abandonment, comments, likes, shares, and follower growth.

When you monitor these metrics you’ll quickly begin to see how your marketing campaign is performing. This is a great way to measure the success of your content marketing.

Cast a Wide Net and Look at All Metrics

When you cast a wide net and look at more than just primary metrics, you can gain deeper insights into your progress and also identify additional areas. Consider the last time you performed a compliance audit on your credit cards. Or for example, if you set out to improve your website traffic but also grow your total number of social media followers, you can leverage the information gleaned from one campaign when you’re ready to launch the next one.

Implementing Everything

If you’re still struggling with content marketing and whether or not you’re receiving the ROI you need, then it might be time to revisit your campaigns. If you’d like to dive deeper into digital marketing, consider reading a guide to help you get started

Using ROI and metrics, you can see how much money your content creation has generated and what the impact has been on your KPIs. In the end, measuring content marketing ROI is just one tool in your marketing toolbox to measure your success.

Alex Williams

Alex Williams is a seasoned full-stack developer and the owner of Hosting Data UK. After graduating from the University of London, majoring in IT, Alex worked as a developer leading various projects for clients from all over the world for almost 10 years. Recently, Alex switched to being an independent IT consultant and started his own blog. He likes to explore web development, data management, digital marketing, and solutions for online business owners just starting out.

One comment

  1. Thank you for the article. However, most marketers wished it was that simple. Marketing ROI stands for return on investment, which means “profit”, not sales. Attributing sales revenues as the return of marketing is assuming it is all profit when in reality it is not. Additionally, you have to deal with attribution. Let’s say Coca-Cola publishes a piece of content and I decide to publish exactly the same piece of content. At the end of the day, we will be both selling. The cost of publishing the content is exactly the same. Yet the sales volume will differ a lot giving completely different ROIs as per your calculation. Even if sales were a return, you still need to consider all influencing factors in the decision-making process of customers such as price, proximity, other marketing initiatives, reputation, etc., hence, build your attribution model. The formula for ROI is (net revenues (or attributed profit) – investment) / investment x 100

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